The Pony Express is returning. The National Pony Express Association is by horse and rider relay, recreating the Pony Express of 1860-1861. The re-ride started Aug. 17 in St. Joseph, Mo. and will culminate Aug. 27, in Sacramento. Commemorative letters and personal mail will be carried on the re-ride.
The first rider departed the Patee House, 1860 Headquarters of the Pony Express in St. Joseph, at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 17. The Final Rider will deliver the mail to Pony Express Plaza, Old Sacramento, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27.
The route will be over the Pony Express National Historic Trail, a distance of 1,966 miles. The trail between the Missouri and Sacramento rivers will be through eight states — Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and California.
It will be a fast-paced 10-day, 24-hour a day event. Over 600 riders will be stationed at intervals to relay in-turn a mochila filled with Pony Express Mail. Each rider takes the Pony Express Oath and receives a Bible in the custom of the Central Overland and California Pikes Peak Express Company.
The year 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the termination of the Pony Express. Started by Russell, Majors and Waddell, a Missouri freighting firm, it carried letters and telegrams on the Central Route to prove it passable year round and win a proposed mail contract.
They did not win the contract, but they created a history of bravery and daring enterprise. Today, the trail is a segment of the National Trails System, administered and interpreted by the National Park Service.
The re-ride originally scheduled June 7-17, was rescheduled due to an outbreak of an equine herpes virus in the Western States in May. Although no horses of the NPEA were infected, the postponement was done as a precaution and to cooperate with local and state health department warnings.
Information and updates on the re-ride are available from several sources. The Pony Express homepage, xphomestation.com, will have real-time coverage including reports and pictures from the trail.
The Sierra Intermountain Emergency Radio Association will also host a Hotline, 775-752-6949, Aug. 23-26, from reports by mobile radio teams in Nevada.
Additional information can be obtained by writing the National Pony Express Association, PO Box 236, Pollock Pines, 95726, or by calling 916-332-8382.
California ride schedule
Friday, Aug. 26
11:30 a.m. California/Nevada State Line
12:13 p.m. Trout Creek
1:03 p.m. U.S. 50 and S.R. 89
1:33 p.m. Old US 50 and U.S. 50
2:18 p.m. Sierra at Tahoe
2:58 p.m. Slippery Ford
3:18 p.m. strawberry
3:58 p.m. XP Corral
4:43 p.m. Eagle Rock
5:18 p.m. Kyburz Dump
6:23 p.m. Kyburz Bypass at Weber Mill
6:48 p.m. Wire Gate
7:15 p.m. Pony Express Creek
7:42 p.m. Cleveland Corral
8:22 p.m. White Meadows Road
9:02 p.m. Brockliss Bridge Crossing
9:42 p.m. Brockliss Bridge
10:12 p.m. Fresh Pond
10:40 p.m. Bullion Bend
11:07 p.m. Sportmans Hall
11:43 p.m. Camino Post Office
Saturday, Aug. 27
12:24 a.m. Union Ridge (Ables Acres)
12:56 a.m. El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce
1:36 a.m. Diamond Springs Post Office
2:05 a.m. El Dorado Y
2:36 a.m. Shingle Springs Corral
2:59 a.m. Ambush Pass
3:20 a.m. Rescue Post Office
3:56 a.m. Pleasant Grove House
4:19 a.m. Malcolm Dixon (school house)
4:43 a.m. Green Valley Center
5:04 a.m. Folsom Dam Road
5:28 a.m. Folsom Museum
5:51 a.m. Willow Creek
6.14 a.m. Hazel Avenue (fish hatchery)
6:41 a.m. Sunrise
7:08 a.m. Rossmore
7:40 a.m. Rod Beaudry
8:09 a.m. Estates Drive
8:41 a.m. H Street
9:08 a.m. I 80
9:45 a.m. Discovery Park
10 a.m. Old Sacramento